Sunday, January 30, 2011


Exactly ten years ago this evening, I sat home with a big bowl of cookies and cream, a big belly and even bigger hopes, dreams and anticipation.

Hours before at my routine prenatal visit I was told to expect a good sized baby (7 pounds or so), to not be surprised if I went past my expected due date of February 11th, etc. and she'd see me in a week.

Later that evening as I sat with my one craving (ice cream), the thoughts swirled in my head...3 more days of work, a week at home to make final preparations, pack my bag for the hospital, prop my swollen feet and daydream about the day I finally got to meet my baby girl. Perhaps I'd get a Valentine's Day baby!

Little did I know as I fell asleep that night to HGTV, as I often did when Ben was working overnights, (an old, creeky house can be a little spooky alone at night), that I was about to get a reminder of how things don't always go according to plan, in my time or under my control!

Around 2:30am, I was awakened by "pregnancy bladder" moms out there know just what I mean! I made my sleepy trip to to the next room and back to bed. As I climbed back into my bed, I just felt "funny" soon became apparent that IT WAS TIME! There would be no more working, no time at home to "nest", no waiting for an overdue baby or even my due date! It was time to call my husband home from work, grab what I could into a bag and head out the door to what would be one of the most challenging but wonderful times of my life!

As we arrived at the hospital, I didn't know what to think or feel. Tiredness, fear, excitement...pretty much any emotion you could imagine was present...ALL at once! I won't go into details about the day (those of you who really care know all about it and I'm sure the rest of you would prefer to be spared of the details!). I must say that true to her style, my girl was on her way then decided...hmm...I'm not quite ready. Please wait!

So after being at the hospital nearly 8 hours with no food (aside from 1 measly red popsicle), no sleep and lots of anticipation, the decision was made to start meds and try to convince her out!

As I struggled with contractions, pain medication side effects like nausea, craziness, etc...I watched the hands of the clock twirl and the hours passed. Finally, after what seeemed to be the longest day of my life, 11:29pm came. Along with it came the most precious 5pound 4ounce baby girl! Emily Claire had entered my life and stolen my heart!

It seemed that things didn't follow my plans at all, but the reality is that it was never about MY plan. In exhange for control over the situation, I was given the most beautiful gift. Eleven extra days! Eleven extra days to hold my baby girl in my arms, to stare into her eyes, to kiss her, to feel her soft skin, and to smell her sweet baby scent.

My life soon became a mixture of long days, sleepless nights, spit up, dirty diapers...but amidst it all was a love greater than I could ever have imagined.

Sometimes her birth seems so long ago and some days it seems as if just yesterday, I watched my tiny girl, swaddled and sleeping in her cradle. As the days, months and years have passed, my girl has changed, the routines and struggles have changed, but one thing has remained the love for my daughter and my love and appreciation of being the lucky one who was chosen to be her mother.

Although motherhood isn't always easy, Emily has brought unspeakable joy to my life. I am proud of the accomplishments she's made, the "little lady" she's become and I am so glad she's mine.

In ways, as I sit here at my computer a whole decade later, a mixture of emotions wash over me once again. There is anticipation and excitement of what's to come, fear of the unknown, sadness of how quickly the time and stages have passed, pride, and most of all love. My heart is bursting at the seams with love for my sweet girl.

I hope and pray that as she opens her gifts tomorrow, she'll remember that SHE IS THE TRUE GIFT!


Saturday, January 1, 2011

The Year 2010

As we sat this afternoon still in our pjs on this New Years Day 2011, I was thinking of fun things we could do to occupy our time while Ben was out doing a couple of errands. I came up with the silly idea to do an ABC review of the year 2010. As we thought of the past 12 months, we recalled moments of love, laughter and family times. There are SO MANY wonderful times we shared. For some letters we had a very difficult time narrowing it down to just one.

Here's our attempt to sum it all up in just 26 highlights:
A: Art...Emily continues to be the little artist of the family and participates in Art Enrichment at school
B: Black August Emily proudly earned her Black Belt in Tae Kwon Do
C: Corning Community College: The Fall Semester found Ben teaching as an adjunt auto professor
D: DISNEY...We FINALLY made it on a family trip to Walt Disney World
E: Enjoyed...We enjoyed sharing life and love with one another
F: Flew to Florida...Took a vacation, stayed with family and celebrated our 13th Wedding Anniversary
G: Gator Jerky...While in Florida had a real "tourist" moment and stopped for Gator Jerky...I even tried it!!
H: Harry Potter-Hogsmeade...While in Florida we went to Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios
I:  Ice Hockey...Emily and classmates sang the National Anthem at 2 Jackals Hockey games
J: Jewelry...I continue to make jewelry (mostly for my own wear) but would like to really get into business
K: Kayaking: Ben and Emily enjoyed kayaking together at the lake
L: Lake...The three of us spent the week at the lake with Ben's side of the family
M: Met...Met many new friends, Disney Characters and even some relatives that we hadn't previously met
N: Netbook...Santa was very kind to Emily this year and got her a netbook...her own computer!!!
O: Ocean...While in Florida we spent a gorgeous afternoon at the ocean playing in the sand and waves
P: Performances...Attended show including Princess Wishes Disney on Ice, Golden Age of Radio and more
Q: Quiet...Enjoyed some moments of relaxation and quiet time
R: Roller Coasters...Em and Ben went on most of the coasters at Disney and even I went on Splash Mountain
S: Saxophone...Emily began playing saxophone and presented a concert at Christmas dinner
T: Tore down a wall...Bathroom wall was "demolished" in the process of looking for the source of a  houseful of honey bees
U: Underwater Swimming...Emily spent many summer days at the pool perfecting her underwater swimming
V: Vice-President...Emily ran and was elected as 4th Grade Student Council VP
W: Won the Spelling Bee...Emily became the 3rd grade spelling champ
X: X-Mas...Hosted our first Christmas dinner at our house...was so nice to have everyone here
Y: Youth Ministry...Ben continues to be involved in the church's youth ministry...Emily and I go along on some outings
Zebra Mussel Shells...Lots of zebra mussel shells were spotted on the lake shore

2010 proved to be a fabulous's hoping the new year will be just as great.

Blessings to you all as you recall your 2010 and look ahead to what lies before you in 2011.